Reviews: Defiance, “The Beauty of Our Weapons” + Dark Matter, Episode Six

Defiance, “The Beauty of Our Weapons”:

A promotional image for DefianceHere’s a good, classic example of Defiance at its best: A simple story of flawed characters doing their best, ripe with strong emotion and excellent performances from the show’s cast.

A scion of the Von Bach family, Conrad, has arrived in Defiance. He supplied weapons to Rahm Tak, but VBI does’t take sides, so it’s not surprising he’d also supply wares to Defiance.

What is surprising is that he’s doing so free of charge. He’s an old flame of Berlin’s, and he’s eager to win her back. Somewhat surprisingly, she seems receptive to the idea, putting her on a collision course with Amanda.

I really liked Amanda’s performance in this episode, and I thoroughly agree with her assessment of Berlin’s character.

I also have a strong suspicion Conrad is planning a double cross at some point. They didn’t mention that voice control on the weapons for nothing. And my personal experience with the Von Bachs is that they’re a slimey bunch.

Berlin and Conrad Von Bach in DefianceAmanda isn’t the only one having a bad day, though, as there are rough times all around.

The fire in Datak Tarr has finally burnt out. Sentenced to death, he has no more schemes, no more insults, no more bravado. He has made peace with his fate, and he has only one last request: to die on the shaming wrack in the hopes of redeeming himself in Rayetso’s eyes.

This was probably the standout plot of an excellent episode. Tony Curran once again puts on a stellar performance, and Alak’s words at the end have got to be one of the most emotional moments in Defiance to date.

I very highly doubt they’re really going to kill off Datak, but I will admit I have no idea how he’s going to get out of this. But either way we got some excellent story-telling out of it.

Meanwhile, Stahma is little better off than her husband, having gone out of the frying pan and into the fire by seeking the aid of the Omec.

And finally, Nolan is put in an impossible position when his recruits for defending Defiance insist that Irisa join them, despite her issues. The end result is Nolan at his very best.

Datak Tarr (Tony Curran) in DefianceI’ve always said the greatest strength of Defiance is its characters, and “The Beauty of Our Weapons” is a great illustration of that. Nearly the entire cast puts on stellar performances, and their strength and humanity is a brilliant contrast to the brutality of Rahm Tak.

Berlin and Stahma’s plots are the weak points of the episode, but even those aren’t bad. They just don’t stand up to the awesomeness of the other plots.

Random fun fact: Most of the weapons seen in this episode are taken directly from the game version of Defiance. Though I don’t use any of them myself — I prefer the VOT models myself, if only for the sake of patriotism.

Overall rating: 8.5/10

Dark Matter, Episode Six:

It’s info-dump time!

The logo for Dark MatterWith the aid of the android I have unilaterally decided is named Sally and a whole lot of hand-wavey technobabble, Five develops a means to dive into her own subconscious and uncover the lost memories of the Raza crew.

It’s dangerous, though. Five risks overloading her nervous system, or becoming lost in memories forever.

This is our first big glimpse into the crew’s lives before they lost their memories. It’s a very incomplete picture, with some characters’ memories not being explored at all, but the overall message seems to be that the crew wasn’t that bad after all.

Except Three. He really is that awful.

We now finally have an identity for Five, and to be honest, I’m a little disappointed. After all her weirdness, I was thinking Five would turn out to be the product of some freaky genetic engineering, or a prodigy, or a mastermind of some sort. The revelation that she’s really quite ordinary is a bit underwhelming.

For all that this is the most Five-heavy episode to date, I think the real hero of episode six is, uh, Six. Won’t spoil the reasons why, but he definitely comes out of this episode looking the best of the Raza gang.

Jodelle Ferland as Five in Dark MatterIt further cements what I’ve felt for a while: While One is eager to paint himself the white knight at every opportunity, Six is actually the most trustworthy and honourable member of the crew. He just doesn’t need to boast about it.

Something else interesting to come out of this is that Five may have learned how to access the vault without realizing it. How long before something jogs her memory?

Also, I’d like to point out that Two was strongly opposed to Five’s journey into their memories, and Five didn’t uncover any of her memories. I don’t know; still seems suspicious.

I’m a little on the fence with this episode. This kind of insight is something I’ve wanted for a while, but… There are still lots of unanswered questions. Really all of the memories Five unearthed only flesh out character backstories. We still have no answers to the mysteries of the crew’s current state. Which in and of itself might be significant.

At least we finally know who Five is/was, I guess.

Overall rating: 7/10

4 thoughts on “Reviews: Defiance, “The Beauty of Our Weapons” + Dark Matter, Episode Six

  1. I thought the juxtaposition of Nolan firing up the recruits and getting them all to cheer along with the “Defiance! Defiance! Defiance!” chant was most excellent, and then juxtaposed against Datak also giving an inspirational speech and ending it with “Defiance! Defiance! Defiance!” but getting weaker each time as no one cheered along was quite poignant as well. But yeah… Alak’s words when the rocks started going on the shaming rack….. Where’d all that dust come from and how’d it get into my eyes?

    Dark Matter was nice to finally learn a little about the backstories. Something I found interesting in doing it this way is that 5 can tell them what she saw, but they still don’t remember and have to trust that she’s telling them the truth, but then 6 got to experience his own, so he can truly integrate that memory into himself. And 4 seems to have developed a vengeful purpose from what 5 told him. . . .

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